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Predicting MMO Player Gender from In-Game Attributes Using Machine Learning Models

  • Tracy KennedyEmail author
  • Rabindra (Robby) Ratan
  • Komal Kapoor
  • Nishith Pathak
  • Dmitri Williams
  • Jaideep Srivastava
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)

Abstract

What in-game attributes predict players’ offline gender? Our research addresses this question using behavioral logs of over 4,000 EverQuest II players. The analysis compares four variable sets with multiple combinations of character types (avatar characteristics or gameplay behaviors; primary or nonprimary character), three server types within the game (roleplaying, player-vs-player, and player-vs-environment), and three types of predictive machine learning models (JRip, J48, and Random Tree). Overall, the most highly predictive, interpretable model has an f-measure of 0.94 and suggests the primary character gender and number of male and female characters a player has provide the most prediction value, with players choosing characters to match their own gender. The results also suggest that female players craft, scribe recipes, and harvest items more than male players. While the strength of these findings varies by server type, they are generally consistent with previous research and suggest that players tend to play in ways that are consistent with their offline identities.

Keywords

Gender prediction Gender in MMOs Machine learning models MMOs 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research reported herein was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) via award number: IIS-0729421, the Army Research Institute (ARI) via award number W91WAW-08-C-0106, Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) via Contract No: EA8650-10-C-7010 and the Army Research Lab (ARL) Network Science–Collaborative Technology Alliance (NSCTA) via BBN TECH/W911NF-09-2-0053. The data used for this research were provided by the SONY Online Entertainment (SONY Corporation). We gratefully acknowledge all our sponsors. The findings presented do not in any way represent, either directly or through implication, the policies of these organizations.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Kennedy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rabindra (Robby) Ratan
    • 2
  • Komal Kapoor
    • 3
  • Nishith Pathak
    • 3
  • Dmitri Williams
    • 4
  • Jaideep Srivastava
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Communication, Popular Culture and FilmBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and MediaMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Annenberg School for Communication and JournalismUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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